THE NEW manager of Hotel du Vin has promised to make it the number one in Brighton.

Gianluca Cugnetto, who describes himself as a food and drink guru, has worked at some of the most prestigious luxury hotels and bars around the world.

After taking over the management of the hotel two months ago Mr Cugnetto has promised to bring the same high-end customer service to the Brighton boutique hotel.

The Italian, who comes from a family of restaurateurs, previously held directorships at Le Méridien in Dubai and The Sheraton, as well as working in the Maldives, Caribbean and London for seven years.

After relocating to Sussex, he wants to bring the high standards of such international hotels to the boutique Brighton hotel, which was acquired by Singapore based Frasers Hospitality earlier this year as part of a £363 million deal.

Mr Cugnetto explained: “The old management did very well. But I see the property projecting itself in a different direction.

“I want it to excel at customer expectations. I come from a background where the word ‘no’ doesn’t exist. In the Middle East customer services is everything. If you ask a question, staff should snap into action. I want to bring that kind of service culture here.

“Obviously it’s slightly different in Brighton. We have a great clientele and lots of regulars. I want to let them know I’m going to improve the service with top notch food and drink."

He added: “I don’t have it the way I want it yet. We want to be the best, not second or third. No one remembers the runners up at the World Cup. We will be top.”

Changes already underway include refurbishments to conference rooms, with plans to modernise event facilities and technology.

Wine will remain a key focus with hopes to bring in celebrities such as Angelo Gaja, while Nicoletta Piras will take over from Ziggy Grinbergs as sommelier.

Aperitif jazz nights will be introduced with new cocktails and live music in the bar twice a month.

There will be changes in the food menu as well with a revamp of the restaurant planned next year.

Mr Cugnetto added: “We want to do new things with food. New things will be happening very soon.

“The current menu is nice bistro if a little masculine. Want to soften it a little and provide more for vegans and vegetarians.”